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Eco Friendly Products

03/08/2007

A holistic approach to green issues is taken when new products are developed. The environmental considerations are automatically integrated into the design, engineering and post-sales care of the product and its consumables.

Product assessment

A wide range of environmental measures have been implemented in the Cumbernauld facility to achieve efficient and environmentally friendly production across the plant, including a waste segregation policy. These initiatives have reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by an impressive 70 per cent.

OKI Printing Solutions also works to reduce environmental impact of its products by conducting a Lifecycle Assessment (LCA)* and by running the 'Oki Eco Product Certification Program'.

Product assessment reduces the environmental impact of a product by comparing the model being designed with a reference model (eg a previous product), giving consideration to environmental criteria such as energy conservation. The design and evaluation process is repeated until all green criteria are satisfied.

For example, the recently introduced C8600dn is a high speed A3 printer that is small in size and cost but big in productivity and professionalism. Using OKI Printing Solutions' digital LED technology instead of a laser unit means the C8600 is up to 56 per cent smaller than other A3 printers, making it the smallest and lightest model in its class and saving materials.

Green manufacturing

All OKI Printing Solutions' facilities undertake measures to encourage green manufacturing. For instance, at the manufacturing facility in Cumbernauld (Scotland) environmental considerations were included from the outset of the design of the new facility, incorporating temperature regulating systems that take advantage of natural heating and cooling methods. The facility also makes use of natural light where possible and has installed light sensors to eliminate unnecessary use of electricity. When comparing April 2006 to April 2007, the effects of energy saving measures are clear to see. In this time electricity usage fell 34%, gas usage was reduced 40% and water usage is down 9.9%.


A wide range of environmental measures have been implemented in the Cumbernauld facility to achieve efficient and environmentally friendly production across the plant, including a waste segregation policy. These initiatives have reduced the amount of waste going to landfill by an impressive 70%; from more than 50 tonnes per month, to less than 15 tonnes.

The plant has also implemented an innovative "closed loop" system of toner transfer into the facility. This not only encourages a significantly cleaner work environment, but it also minimises any risk of toner escaping for the health and safety of the team.

This holistic approach to factory design has provided environmentally sound solutions that will safeguard the energy performance of the modern manufacturing facility well into the future, whilst also providing a healthy and comfortable working environment for its employees.

Environmental risk management

Across the Oki Group as a whole, a number of preventative measures have been implemented to reduce environmental risks. In addition to activities to cut emissions, the company carries out maintenance work on its facilities and conducts emergency spillage containment drills to prevent the pollution of groundwater drainage systems. If environmental incidents occur the procedure is to quickly isolate the cause and implement measures to solve the problem.

Safety management

To prevent any negative environmental effects caused by an accident, the entire Oki Group is involved in safety management efforts at its production sites. In addition to daily risk management, head office divisions regularly conduct safety inspections. The inspections cover three fields: the environment; disaster prevention; and health and safety. Inspection teams visit each site to confirm the status of safety management and to ensure fast resolution if they highlight any issues.


Green packaging

Packaging can have a significant environmental impact during its production and disposal, so it needs to be well managed. To reduce these environmental impacts OKI Printing Solutions is striving to design eco-friendly packaging and substitute materials for greener alternatives.

Packaging includes everything from cardboard boxes for products, to the wooden palettes that are used during transport. OKI Printing Solutions is investigating the use of 'bare packaging', where products are covered in polythene during transport, minimising packaging whilst giving the same protection from dust and scratching as more heavy-weight materials. Additionally, as an alternative to wooden palettes the company is trialling palettes made of corrugated cardboard, which are easier to handle and recycle.

All of OKI Printing Solutions' cardboard packaging contains varying levels of recycled materials and the company has recently eliminated the need for expanded polystyrene end caps in its newly designed boxes, reducing waste. All packaging is recyclable and at a Pan-European level OKI Printing Solutions is registered with the 'Green Dot' scheme (www.greendotcompliance.eu) to ensure an equal or greater amount of packaging to that on the market is recycled.

* Lifecycle Assessment

The Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) Evaluation evaluates environmental effects by quantifying the materials and energy used throughout the lifecycle of a product - from production to disposal. When comparing CO2 emissions, OKI Printing Solutions found that the largest environmental impact is made during customer usage. These insights provided by the LCA are used to inform eco-friendly design and guidance on how to use the product responsibly.

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